August 13, 2020



Challenging the Process

Each EmpowerED 3.2.1 features a brief summary of my musings about and learning from multiple disciplines as they apply to leadership in education. 


My favorite resource to use when teaching leadership is The Leadership Challenge by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner.  The real-life stories are relatable; the tips are useful and insightful; and the practices taught align to any leadership role. This EmpowerED 3.2.1 takes leadership practice three and deconstructs its components and supports them with resources from other industries, especially education.


3 Big Ideas

    1. Innovate. Having an innovation mindset is key to finding and solving today’s problems. My go-to on innovation is George Couros’ The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity . I highly recommend this book and his blog. He defines innovation “as a way of thinking that creates something new and better. Innovation can come from either invention (something totally new) or iteration (a change of something that already exists), but if it doesn’t meet the idea of ‘new and better,’ it is not innovative.” Look around you…what can you say is new and better about what you are doing for students and staff? We had/have a chance to innovate during this pandemic. Did we? Can we?
    2. Initiate and Use Outsight. In The Outsight Principle Becoming a Better Leader From the Outside In, author Herminia Ibarra found that gaining authenticity requires doing “new and different things and interacting with new and different people.” This “fresh, external perspective” is what she has termed “outsight.” The construct is particularly critical in leading innovation, a notoriously difficult endeavor. She encourages leaders to discover the breadth and diversity of their network; how connected they are to non‐obvious sources of people and information, that your connections are not just people who know each other; and how dynamic and future‐oriented their connections are. “We start by doing,” she writes, “we reflect on our experiences, and we rethink ourselves, and we grow.” I agree and add that is how we innovate!
    3. Inspire. If you don’t believe in your ideas, why would anyone else? Take a look at this quick reminder of the importance of inspiring innovation and challenging the process in a video titled “Rubik’s Cube. A Question, Waiting to Be Answered.


As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who inspire others.
– Bill Gates


“Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost always fails because it’s too late. ”
– Seth Godin, author and blogger at


1 Question

Would you want to be a learner in your classroom or a teacher in your school?



About the Author: Marcia Baldanza is also the author of Professional Practices, a Just ASK Senior Consultant. and adjunct professor at Virginia Tech. Until recently she worked for the School District of Palm Beach County, Florida, where she was an Area Director for School Reform and Accountability; prior to that she was Director of Federal and State Programs.










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